Lewis Hamilton jokes about ‘fighting for a championship’

Lewis Hamilton has failed to win a race since the penultimate round of the 2021 season in Saudi Arabia.

103-time Formula 1 race winner Lewis Hamilton has openly admitted that he’s “not quite sure” if he can end his winless streak before the end of the season, with his last victory having come back at the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

It’s been a difficult period for the seven-time World Champion, however, there was some belief that he could end his over 18-month winless streak last weekend at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Many saw the Mercedes driver as a contender to beat Max Verstappen, after Hamilton beat the Dutchman to pole position by three-thousandths of a second.

The 38-year-old had a bit of a torrid race though, and found himself in fourth by the end of the first lap, a position he went on to finish in.

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He does have another chance to end his winless streak this weekend at the Belgian Grand Prix, although he is unsure whether he’ll taste victory before the end of 2023.

“At the moment? Not quite sure we can currently compete with him [Verstappen],” Hamilton said on Thursday.

“There were times in the last race when he was 0.8s faster than everyone on a single lap. But never say never.”

Despite being unsure whether he’ll be on the top step of the podium before this season finishes, he was quick to praise the improving W14 and the work being done by the Brackley-based team.

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When asked what his expectations were ahead of the season though, he was quick to joke that he wanted to be “fighting for a World Championship”.

“To be fighting for a World Championship! That’s always the expectation,” Hamilton said whilst laughing.

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“No honestly, to be in a much better position than we were last year and that wasn’t the case [at the start]. Even with all the amazing work during the winter we started further behind.

“So it’s been a big, steep uphill climb but really proud of the team. We’re fighting for second in the constructors’ championship which is something we didn’t expect after the first test and that’s really down to the great teamwork that’s happening in the background.

“My full focus is to secure second for the team. That would mean a huge amount for everyone back at the factory and while we can’t currently catch the Red Bulls it puts us in a good position for next year.”